Thursday, May 26, 2011

Amy Poehler for President

Seriously, I'll be happy with Obama or Amy in 2012. But that's it. Those are the only options.

I'm lying. What I'm really thinking is a Leslie Knope-Liz Lemon ticket. It's gold.

"Your generation had to get used to taking off your shoes at the airport. My generation had to get used to awkward PSA's from Boyz II Men telling us to use protection."

Via Jezebel.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wyatt Cenac!

Dear Wyatt,

Let's be friends.


"I pity the fool who doesn't have health care! I do. That's ridiculous. That's a third-world problem. We're a first-world country. What the FUCK."

Now you should probably go add Medicine for Melancholy to your Netflix queue. Because it's awesome. And Wyatt Cenac is awesome.

(Hat tip to my brother for the movie suggestion; hat tip to Feministing for recognizing Wyatt Cenac's awesomeness.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: Seared in a Flame

Bring Me In Under Your Wing
Hayyim Nahman Bialik, Odessa, early 20th c.

Bring me in under your wing,
    be sister for me, and mother,
the place of you, rest for my head,
     a nest for my unwanted prayers.

At the hour of mercy, at dusk,
    we'll talk of my secret pain:
They say, there's youth in the world—
    What happened to mine?

And another thing, a clue:
    my being was seared in a flame.
They say there's love all around—
   What do they mean?

The stars betrayed me–there
    was a dream, which also has passed.
Now in the world I have nothing,
     not a thing.

Bring me in under your wing,
    be sister for me, and mother,
the place of you, rest for my head,
     a nest for my unwanted prayers.

—Translated from Hebrew by Peter Cole

From "Five Poems of Kabbalah," Various Authors, The Paris Review, Spring 2011 No. 196

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wake Me Up

It's either completely crazy, or completely expected, that I have a dream about my mom every Mother's Day. Each time I'm surprised, but then feel ridiculous that I'm surprised. On a day when I have heard or seen the words "mom" and "mother" multiple times, and have my mom in the back, or front, of my mind the entire day, why wouldn't I have a dream about her?

Most of the time in recent years, when I dream about my mom, I wake up feeling soothed, comforted, and safe. It's something I treasure—as though I went to sleep and got to talk to her again, even if just for a moment. I feel like she came to visit me. It's not enough, by any means, but when nothing can ever be enough, it's something.

Unfortunately, I also have a recurring nightmare about my mom. And that was the dream I had last night. Maybe it's not even really a nightmare. But it's a nightmare to me, and here's why: In my dream, my mom is back. In fact, she was never really dead, not really. This whole time, she was just gone, away, where we couldn't reach her. When I ask her what happened, she won't tell me, and she's not sorry. She's matter-of-fact: "I was gone, but I'm here now, Alison. Why are you being such a baby?"

That's what she said last night, anyway. For some reason, in the dream, I was standing in the kitchen of my grandparents' old farmhouse. The kitchen looked exactly how it looked when I was a kid. I didn't know why we were over at Grandma and Grandpa Hamm's house, but they weren't there, and Mom had decided to stay there, because she refused to come back home with us. After she asked me why I was being such a baby, she walked out of the kitchen and seemingly disappeared in the blackness of another room.

At that, I jerked awake and stared at the ceiling, terrified. I didn't want to fall back asleep, because I knew she wouldn't be there anymore. I couldn't bear to be awake. I walked into the kitchen and squinted so the numbers on the oven clock would come to focus.


What did it all mean? Did it mean anything at all? I gulped down some water and went back to bed, only to have a series of different, equally weird dreams in which my mother stubbornly refused to make an appearance.

I woke up and felt utterly lost. And that was basically how I felt the entire day. I couldn’t quite shake that discarded, lonely sort of feeling I had felt in the dream when my mom told me to stop being such a baby. It was similar to how I felt as a kid after she’d say, chidingly, “You’re so sensitive!”

Okay, Mom. I get it.

But do you? I kept hearing her annoyingly ask back inside my head.

The whole thing was making my head hurt. I felt nuts. I wondered if anyone could tell.


It wasn’t until right as I left work, as I pushed through the revolving door and stepped outside, that I finally shook the feeling. It was sunny. It was warm. Who knew? I’d been trapped in my windowless cubicle of doom all day. I had no idea.

I crossed the street and stared up at the beautiful Chicago buildings. The tulips were blooming in the flowerbeds—vivid, purple and orange, one of my favorite color combinations. The wind was blowing, but it felt warm. Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s sang in my ears.

Monday Mix Tapes: Trying to Be Better

Surprise! It's a song by The National.

I can't help it. This song makes me feel all weepy at my desk. Let's get weepy together. C'mon. You know you want to.

As my gf Lauren would say: Sorry, not sorry.

Think you can wait?